Homemade Laundry Soap for Pennies

I made a batch of homemade laundry soap recently. According to the recipe I used, I should be able to wash approximately 64 loads of wash for A PENNY per load. If I really cared, I’d keep track of how many loads I actually do wash with this batch, but that’s going overboard, even for a detail oriented person like myself.

Since I can buy laundry soap on sale for $2.99 a bottle, I’m not sure it’s a huge money saver for us, since it’s just the two of us here now, but I imagine that a larger family would find quite a savings. I did it just for the fun of it. It’s nice to do the “old fashioned” things every once in awhile, just for the satisfaction of knowing that I can.

Here’s the basic recipe I used, in case you’d like to try making a batch for yourself. There are tons of variations of this all over the Internet. Just Google “homemade laundry soap” or “homemade laundry detergent” to find one that you’d like to make.


1 bar Ivory soap, grated
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax

With burner on low, melt the grated soap in 6 cups of water in a large saucepan. Heat until dissolved.
Stir in washing soda and Borax. Stir until thickened and remove from heat.
Pour 4 cups hot water into a 2-gallon plastic bucket. Add the soap mixture, and mix well. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water to the soap mixture in the bucket. Stir well. Set aside overnight, or until mixture has thickened and looks like “gel”.

Stir before using, then use 1/2 cup homemade soap per load of laundry.

You can either use it right out of the bucket, or pour it into empty laundry detergent bottles. I poured mine into laundry detergent bottles, but it was pretty “gloppy”, and would have been easier and neater just to carry the bucket down to the laundry area and use it right from there.

In case you’re wondering how effective homemade laundry soap might be, I can tell you that it is very effective. My husband was wearing a pair of blue denim overalls last week when he had to work on our kitchen drain pipe. While working to unclog the pipe, he accidentally spilled some drain cleaner down the leg of the overalls (not to mention that some of the drain “gunk” had gotten on his pants earlier too). We both thought the overalls were ruined, but I told him that I’d wash them anyway, so he might at least wear them when he was changing the oil in our car or something. Surprise! Every bit of grime came out of his overalls and they look as good as new.

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